Skip to main content

tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  September 21, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

6:00 pm
thanks for joining us for the second hour of "3 sky." breaking news from charlotte, north carolina. at least one person has been shot in protests tonight. according to local emergency services. we do not know if it was a protester or police officer. it was the second protest following the shooting yesterday of african-american keith scott. boris sanchez is there. first the chaotic scene from
6:01 pm
moments ago. >> that's right, anderson. basically we were following the crowd all the way down to this part of downtown. at one point people got really agitated, there were trash cans thrown from the top of the mall, then they came here. so far they've put out -- oh, wow. they've put out pepper spray. people are running from it. get out of there! jerry, get out of there! so as you can tell, the situation is totally out of control. just to give you a look at where the police line is right now, you can tell from all the debris in front of me, things very quickly got out of control. and they are still doing what they can to disperse this crowd but it's very difficult. it's very difficult -- whoa, okay. they they clearly want us out of here. >> that was 10 or 15 years ago. boris sanchez, what's the scene there now? >> anderson, when we left you,
6:02 pm
things had appeared to calm down, the protesters had mostly dispersed. but things have escalated once again. it appears police have brought out reinforcements. now there are two lines of s.w.a.t. officers decked out in riot gear with gas masks, they're separating the crowds in downtown. on one side where my videographer is, things are being thrown at s.w.a.t. teals. on this side things are slightly more peaceful. things are starting to escalate again. we saw property damage, things being flung at officers. as you reported just a moment ago, anderson, sounds like someone was shot. we're not sure if it was a police officer or potentially a protester. but again, earlier i spoke with someone who said she saw a young man with a head wound and she showed me the video. police were tending to him. that may be the person. we obviously don't have that confirmed. we'll have to wait until all the facts are in. things very quickly got out of hand. it didn't appear that police were in control. now with reinforcements here, things are starting to slow down. again, there's this tension.
6:03 pm
the line of protesters and the line of police eye to eye, a lot of emotion overflowing from the community here as police try to keep control. >> is this in the same location of the omni hotel where we saw you just a short time ago where the tear gas was fired? or where is it compared to that? >> so we are on the side of the omni hotel. again, there are two lines of s.w.a.t. the other line of the s.w.a.t. team where my cameragrapher is is locked off. that's what you're seeing now, the other side of this street. it's only a couple hundred feet away from the omni hotel on the corner. this is still a sizable crowd, the same crowd that followed these officers into the omni hotel, started banging on the glass. that's when officers confronted them. there was an exchange of words, an exchange -- rocks, water bottles, all kinds of things thrown. there was a window broken at a restaurant nearby. police vehicles were trashed.
6:04 pm
people slamming windows and mirrors. and obviously police appear to restrain themselves but at one point it was just chaos. pepper spray in the streets. people running in all directions. now they've gone to reorganize. we can hear police officers speaking over a blow horn. i can't make out what's being said but i can't imagine they're doing anything but trying to get people out of here, anderson. >> it looks like some objects are being thrown off to the right. >> yeah, it looked at one point like protesters were throwing what appeared to be firecrackers at police. they just did that again. now it looks like some people are running. some people are starting to run. i can't really tell where they're going. it's hard to get across this line. this s.w.a.t. line. there are a lot of people with their hands up. and i see smoke in the air. but i can't make out exactly what's going on. again, emotion just overwhel
6:05 pm
meeting here. looks like police are starting to move forward but i can't tell what's going on from this side. there's a big crowd and hopefully things get resolved in at least a more peaceful way than we've seen so far. >> boris, often in past situations like this what we've seen is police try to identify particularly people who are being particularly vocal or agitated or violent in any way, going quickly, grab them, bring them behind lines, arrest them, allow the protests to continue. have you seen that? or is it this point it's static lines of police with the protesters in between? >> frankly, anderson, i did not see officers go. >> that practice of pulling the an daters back, they're not appearing to do that right now. they didn't do it in front of the omni holt. it was really just on one side, it was officers standing by. on the other side, it was people throwing objects at them and yelling at them. as i mentioned earlier, it was
6:06 pm
honestly disheartening. there was a crowd of people that were trying to keep the peace. clearly peaceful protesters that lined up in front of police, they got in the way of the protesters themselves and the agitators, pulling them aside. and at one point it was chaos. i saw people crying. i saw people running off with gas -- >> boris is breaking up, the transmission there. we'll continue to check in with boris. joining me, cnn law enforcement analyst and former president of the national organization of black law enforcement executives cedric alexander and criminologist and former lapd officer david clinger. appreciate you being with us, i'm sorry it's under these circumstances that you are. i'm wondering, david, at this point there's a lot we do not know about this shooting. the police say terrence crutcher refused orders to get on his knees and that the officer felt he had a gun, even though no gun was found. is that enough to justify a
6:07 pm
shooting legally? or if the officer simply thinks the suspect has a gun? >> an officer merely thinking that a suspect has a gun, no, unless there is some remarkable bit of information leading to that. say they have specific knowledge that this individual always carries a gun, the individual says i've got a fun gun, they reach for a gun, something like that. my understanding of the situation in oklahoma, which is the one i believe we're talking about, that sort of information wasn't there. >> you're right, i'm sorry, i was talking about the tulsa situation. >> it's okay, right. >> in charlotte, the fact that the officer involved in this was african-american, the fact that there is a dispute about the facts of this case, so many times there is a rush to judgment. one way or the other. and i assume -- cedric, as somebody who's been involved with law enforcement, president of the national organization of black law enforcement executives, what do you hope transpires over the next several
6:08 pm
days? i assume you want to avoid this rush to judgment. >> certainly we do. we certainly don't want to see the violence that we see out there tonight. and that really must stop. because it just really serves no purpose whatsoever. but to your point here, anderson, what we want to see is an investigation that's going to take place there in charlotte specifically that's going to bring some recognition or shed some light onto what occurred out there, according to those officers' report. but you know, we're at this place in this very moment in policing that no matter what the police does, right or wrong, the community is not in a place where they're willing to accept anything the police are saying. so that makes it very tough to try to work through these issues because so much lack of trust currently exists. we've been struggling with this the last couple of years and it doesn't seem to be getting
6:09 pm
better. it seems to be becoming more challenged. >> david, do you agree with that? this is a situation where the police officer involved in the shooting is african-american. there's been such a push to justifiably and to get a more diverse police force. a police force that represents the community that they are actually policing. that was such an issue that we talked about in ferguson. and yet you still have police officers shooting somebody in very contested circumstances. >> i think we don't know whether these are contested circumstances. it might be very clear cut. and the protesters who have legitimately gone about their business because of their concerns, that's fine. but these people that are running riot beyond the point that it's illegal, how about the point of, wait a minute, before you go off? and there may well be some information that would indicate the officer did something wrong. there may well be some information that indicates everything the officer did was correct. but getting back to your point about a black officer shooting a
6:10 pm
black suspect, it's incredibly frustrating to me because when i come into law enforcement 35 years ago, the mantra was, in order to improve american policing, we need to diversify, get more black officers in particular to police black communities. now we've had it in milwaukee in charlotte, where -- >> david, i want to quickly go to ed lavandera. ed, what are we seeing here? >> we are on east trade, just a few blocks away from the police department. just right down the street from the omni holt where the shooting took place. now there's a crowd of people that have busted the windows out of a souvenir shop, almost like a convenience store type thing. you can see them rushing inside. we've seen them blowing out the windows and just overtaking the store. dozens of people going inside of this scene as we speak. about 200 yards off to the left of this shot, there have been a group of firefighters waiting to
6:11 pm
come into this area with an e.m.s. unit. sounds like the situation here is still too hostile and too dangerous for those units to come into this area. they're trying to get a better view. there have been -- they've actually gone off to another area, anderson. the tension continues here in this block near where the shooting took place -- >> we're having communications problems. i want to bring in cedric alexander, david clinger again. in terms of a situation like this for police to deal with, it's got to be so difficult when you have hundreds of people on the street and moving -- it's not like an organizationed demonstration in one spot, this is a large crowd on the move. i guess police forces now have increasingly had to deal with this over the last several years. >> yes. i think one of the issues is we have to understand what's going on on the ground and we don't
6:12 pm
have enough information. but the descriptions that i just was listening to, what i saw before i walk the into the studio, it appears we have a riot. when you have a riot, you need to put that riot down, you need to use forceful action, you need to arrest the people, you need to take them before a judge, you need to get them into a trial past that, ask you need to keep them locked up, you need to get them convicted of whatever crime they committed and get them off the street and out of the community. american police has to take a firm stand and what the police need is they need the support of the mayor, the governor, and i might say the white house, to say this has to end. you are not allowed to riot. no matter what else is going on. we have a criminal justice system and there are flaws in it that we need to address, that's fine. but you do not have the right to take the law into your own hands which is what these people are doing. if we don't crack down and we don't do what i just said in terms of identifying, arresting, and prosecuting and imprisoning people, this is going to continue. we have to do something to stop this. >> cedric, we've seen a number
6:13 pm
of police forces in similar demonstrations to this over the last year or two as we talked about earlier with boris, kind of identifying particular agitators, kind of breaking police lines, grabbing them, arresting them, and then allowing others to just continue to demonstrate. it seems like we haven't seen that. it may be a matter of the police don't have enough personnel on hand. >> well what you see out there in charlotte tonight what i'm seeing and the rest of the country is seeing, is a full-scale situation where there is violence that is going on. those persons have to be identified. you've got to extract them from those crowds. but at the same time, it's a double-edged sword. because you want to allow them an opportunity to vent but you cannot allow them the opportunity to damage property and to hurt innocent people. >> i'm sorry, let me bring in boris right here. boris, what's going on? >> hey, anderson. they just started shooting tear
6:14 pm
gas. the crowd of people broke up and we are running from the scene. so there were agitators that were getting pulled in by police. and a couple of people started sitting down. but police grabbed one and that's when everything just went out of control. we did see a -- you can see police are trying to control the situation, but there's tear gas everywhere. people started launching the tear gas back at the police. oh, man. anderson, reinforcements are in, police are trying to grab people and bring them behind the line. but again, things escalating very quickly. i'm going to describe the scene again to you. there were two lines of s.w.a.t. teams lined up by the omni hotel -- watch out, there's gas under you, get out of there! there are more cans of tear gas getting thrown into the street right now, anderson. we're trying to get out of the way. there were two lines -- oh, my eyes. anderson, i've got to scent send it back to you. >> what we're seeing -- cedric,
6:15 pm
i'm sorry for interrupting you, cedric alexander, former president of the national organization of black law enforcement executives, david clinger, former lapd officer, criminologist. clearly you have at least two police lines right now. and it does seem like, cedric, as we have been discussing, they had started pulling particular individuals behind police lines in order to hold them or arrest them. but now clearly deploying tear gas to at least try to disperse this crowd as much as possible. >> this is a very volatile situation we're looking at right here, anderson. the officers are trying to do their job, trying to extract the bad guys that are out there, that are clearly being a problem. in doing so, they're getting a negative response from that crowd. look, charlotte's a very good police department. they have great leadership there. it's no doubt in my mind that they're going to put all the necessary resources that they have on the ground in order to quell that situation. but you've got to get that situation there under control before more people are hurt and
6:16 pm
more damage to property is done as well. >> ed lavandera who's on the ground there, clearly police have brought in reinforcements. the police line we're seeing, one of those police lines is much larger than the police lines we had seen in the entrance to the omni before. >> well, there's no question. that line, we're just off to the side of it. we're helping some of our colleagues here, anderson, who were in the middle of that, giving them water. but those police lines pushing the crowd back away from that omni hotel, which has been obviously the center of a lot of the violence tonight. trying to push that crowd back. they were trying to get virus people, agitators, out of the crowd and other people came in to try to grab those people. >> murder, murder, murder, murder, murder, murder! >> ed, are you okay? >> yeah, yeah, we're fine, anderson, we're fine.
6:17 pm
someone taking out their frustration on this me. >> if you need to leave that location, ed, that's fine, just let us know. >> we're going to figure out what to do, give us a second. >> we'll check back in with you, take care of yourself and your crew. boris sanchez is standing by also. boris, if you can explain where you are in relation to where ed was and just what you're seeing around you, seems like the crowd, though smaller than it was, it seems like there are a number of individuals there, dozens who are not trying to leave at all. who are still staying there. >> yeah, you're absolutely right, anderson. we're standing right next to ed. his team was nice enough to bring us water because of the tear gas in our eyes. looks like the crowd starts to disperse, then when the tear gas goes away, they come right back. the people that are coming in are agitators. you saw ed get hit by somebody. clearly they're not friendly to the media or the police right now. again, they're going right back to the front line to confront
6:18 pm
the police officers. i'm walking back over to the line right now as my crew tries to get better -- youing going to knock me over too? you're going to hit me? get out of here. >> i'm not going to hit -- >> yeah, the crowd is very agitated here, anderson. get out of here, guy. anderson, things are out of hand. i'm going to have to send it back to you. >> you do what you need to do. wasn't to bring in cedric alexander, david clinger. david weeks seeing at the top of the screen police pulling in certain agitators, bringing them through the police lines, trying to get them out of there. how do you disperse a crowd like this? they tried tear gas. it seems like some die-hard elements, several dozen people, looks more like young men, not leaving. >> go out there with the appropriate tangle teams as we call them and arrest them. it's very simple. and each and every time there's a protest that turns into a riot, you have a firm hand. not an overstretched -- not an
6:19 pm
excessive hand but a firm hand. using appropriate levels of force to get these people into jail, get them off the street. that needs to happen. like i said, we need to have support for that type of a tactic by the police, by the mayor, the governor, and the white house. this has to stop. because it will spin off into other cities and it's only going to get worse. >> and cedric, when -- this is video probably from about 40 or so minutes ago. outside that omni. the first sort of violent acts we started to see from protesters. police had form adeline in front of the omni. and now this crowd has moved down a little bit from the omni but is still in that area. and we see people -- this is people who are broken into, a business, are taking items from a store. when you start to have people breaking into businesses, this is not a protest anymore about a particular act, this is now just lawlessness. >> this is lawlessness, this is unacceptable.
6:20 pm
charlotte police is going to have to get in there. as we're seeing, on the latter part of the video here, they're going to have to get in there and take firm action, remove and start arresting people. it's going to be a tough night for them. because as you can see, whenever tear gas is launched, they will leave. as soon as the tear gas leaves, they'll come back. we've seen that pattern over and over and over again. it's even getting to the point where your staff there and your colleagues are being threatened as well too. so this is not a very good situation. but here again, charlotte is a well put together police department. and i have confidence that the leadership there are going to take the appropriate levels of action throughout the course of the evening. to bring this to some calm. . but this is going to be a challenging night there in charlotte. >> for officers involved in something like this, it's got to be -- it's obviously a chaotic situation. you don't necessarily have the big picture of what's happening
6:21 pm
elsewhere. i assume there are conflicting reports about what's going on. how do you maintain order just among your officers to execute properly what you want to do? >> well, in many police departments across this country, charlotte is no different, they train for scenarios, certainly, like this. certainly over the last couple of years, post-michael brown, we all have been training for scenarios such as this. but it becomes a leadership issue. you're there leading your men and women on the ground. against those crowds. you keep them together, you make sure that they are all accounted for. you give them the support that they need. but is it very stressful for them? certainly it is. the other night you had 12 officers injured. that's 12 officers that are taking out of that police department in order to recover from the injuries. that is devastating. but we got to keep them encouraged. like we heard dr. clinger say, they need all the support that
6:22 pm
they can have from both the city, state, and county government. need to support those officers in the work that they're doing. as long as they're being constitutional and they're acting under the color of law and they're doing the job the way that it was trained, we've got to go in, we've got to make those arrests, we've got to get those agitators out of there before more people get hurt and more property is damaged. because this is not what we want to see happen. this is far from just people exercising their first amendment right to speech. this is violent acts. that is just not acceptable by that community or anyone else. >> yeah, >> david, in a situation like this, you have plenty of people who are legitimate protesters, who have legitimate grievances and want to have their voices heard. you also have people who are there to agitate, to get a response. to provoke something. >> absolutely. and hopefully charlotte has been working with their intel units and maybe the county intel unit,
6:23 pm
stale intel units, so on and so forth, in terms of figuring out who the outside agitators are, also local agitators so you have something going in about who the people are, likely, most likely to do some criminal act, focus your attention on them and get them out of there. circling back to the issue of what it's like to be in a situation like that, i was never involved as a police officer in riot control but i've spoken with dozens and dozens of officer who have been across the country and in ferguson. and it is very trying and it is very difficult, and it's very challenging. >> yeah. >> and as cedric was talking about, the issue of command and control becomes really, really vital and as you were mentioning, the big picture versus what the officers on the ground can see, they only know what's going on right in front of them so there has to be command and control. >> right. >> both right with them and then up and down the chain of command so that there are appropriate movements as a group to try to shut things down, open other lanes up, give legitimate protesters lanes of egress so they can get out of there and so that the people that are the
6:24 pm
hardcore rioters are the ones that remain then round them up and get them out of there. >> let me go back to boris sanchez. it looks like there's more gas now being fired. >> reporter: that's right, anderson. they started tossing tear gas again. at one point it looked like the s.w.a.t. team was going to into go into the crowd. they're throwing the tear gas back at the police who are right now standing still. i can tell you the peaceful element of this protest is completely gone. my colleague, ed lavendera, was just assaulted by a guy as he was delivering his report. ed fortunately is fine. we got hit with pepper spray, ourselves. obviously the crowd here is not a friendly one. there's a lot of people fleeing right now from what i can tell. a lot of people just standing around and dancing in the tear gas. again, this started as a peaceful protest outside the police department. things were somewhat tense, but there were conversations being had. at this point as you can see, gas at the police officers who - are sending it right back, anderson. things spiraled o ut of control.
6:25 pm
at one point, protesters were trying to get inside the omni hotel where the s.w.a.t. team had gathered to try to get away from them. and they started bangs on the glass, some glass was broken. police vehicles were vandalized and destroyed. there's more tear gas coming our way as we start to move back. and the tear gas keeps being thrown at the police. looks like the crowd directly in front of the police officers is mostly dispersed. it's the side roads to the left and right of where the police are where most people are gathered right now. there's a lot of people standing and watchi ingwatching. there are people, again, as you can see, throwing things at the police. anderson? >> boris, clearly with the latest tear gas, they have been able to clear out that intersection but as we've seen a lot over the last 30, 40 minute, as soon as the tear gas clears, it seems like the harder core elements, these young guys come back to confront police again.
6:26 pm
>> reporter: yeah, they're not going anywhere. they scatter. the problem here is that they're only on one side of the intersection and there are people on the other three corners that keep running back when the tear gas disperses, they run right back into police. as you can see, people are starting to walk back into the intersection now. what was a mass of 100 people that started with chanting and a conversation, again, outside the police station then at a park became this. you can see the reinforcements are now moving in. we're not sure exactly what they're going to do but it looks like officers are going to start the march forward to try to clear these streets. there are quite a few police officers and they're directing them, as i mentioned, anderson, toward the sides of the intersection that were -- that were being used by people to hide. we're starting to pull back but there are people that simply are not moving. they're staying right there. at one point, they did start pulling the agitators behind the
6:27 pm
line but that's when things really got out of hand on this side of the street. as you can see, they're now setting up a barrier. they're moving into the intersection. behind us, i can hear sirens. it appears reinforcementes are coming. the officers are moving in the intersection, miss. >> it looks like now they're basically trying to cover three sides of that intersection as far as i can tell. is that right? >> reporter: right, exactly. they're trying to cut the protesters off. there are people that are simply not leaving. they are trying to insight something it seems like. it looks like there's somebody on the ground now. another agitator has been arrested. i've seen many arrested. there's more shouting as we try to move away. i'm trying to get an idea of how many people there are. three, four dozen on my intersection. on the other side, at least 50. on the third intersection, another 70 people. still well over 100 people here. some people are now sitting in front of the line of police.
6:28 pm
this does not appear to be calming down any time soon. at least for right now, tear gas isn't being thrown. it appears that police are now forming a circle. i can't tell what they're picking up on the ground but obviously they're being extremely cautious here. trying to keep people from going behind them. anderson, i'll send it back to you as i try to figure out what's next here. >> yeah. i want to show you that video, we'll queue that up of ed lavendera who was knocked over by one of protesters. let's take a look at that. it happened i think about 20 minutes or so ago. >> reporter: other people came in, tried to line those people. >> obviously something unintentional as we've often seen in situations like this, it's not just the police who are the focus of anger. also many times reporters as well. jeff rorda of the st. louis
6:29 pm
police officers association is joining us on the phone. jeff, good to talk to you again. sorry it's under these circumstances. in terms of what you're seeing on the streets tonight, what do you make of what you're seeing, how difficult of a job is this for police in charlotte? >> anderson, i turned on the tv, i thought i was on the dvr catching old footage from ferguson. i mean, it's the same thing all over again and, you know, my thoughts all day have been with those police officers in charlotte, north carolina. 16 of them injured last night. you know, the same sort of irrational pandemonium on the streets there we saw in ferguson and baltimore and other places. i sure wish people would just wait for facts and details to come out before they jump to conclusions and take to the streets and turn to violence. >> it's certainly something with which one of the things we've been talking about tonight.
6:30 pm
there obviously is a difference of opinion about what happened, different -- and all the facts are not known, certainly, at this point. we're also joined by cedric alexander and david clinger. it's interesting, cedric, often we've seen just even in new york recently in the wake of terror attacks, you know, oftentimes there's this -- people -- not only appeal for calm, but don't rush to judgments about the facts of what happened, about what might be involved or their motivations and yet, you know, in a situation like this, things are so tense and there is such distrust, there is often a rush to judgment. >> yeah. and certainly, it is a rush to jud judgele. i think part of the problem, you have to look at it from a much broader perspective, anderson is, is this country has seen a number of these shootings, whether they are good or bad. people have seen a number of these shootings over the last couple years and certainly we've seen some on video that has created a great deal of concern and pause and created a whole
6:31 pm
lot of anger with people. so what we're seeing when we see these types of situation tonight is a culmination of that anger that people have and they vent. it's the wrong way to do it, but this is what we're contending with. so we have a bigger issue here in this country and that's the relationships between police and community. it's we know that we're going to have to do things different in policing. i've been in the profession for 40 years now. here in dekalb county, we're doing things different. a lot of departments across this country who are doing things different. the immediate, at this very moment, what we need americans, particularly like tonight, americans on the street there in charlotte tonight, is to back away because this type of demonstration does not benefit anyone. it doesn't benefit the community. it doesn't benefit the loss of the person who lost their life. it's just not good. it's not a good optic for their city. and there's a much better way,
6:32 pm
of course, to manage this. we know this is very tough for police and community today. but what we see here tonight where you put a whole community at distress, and a whole nation and people around the world looking at you, this is not an optic that none of us want. so we got to do something different here. the other thing i want to add, too, anderson, before i end here, we got a debate coming up in five days. a presidential debate. and i would hope during the course of that debate that each one of those candidates have an opportunity to address police/community relations in this country. what we've been seeing for the last couple years. concern. and what is their plan? i want to hear about foreign policy. and i want to hear about their economic policy but i also, the american people, all the american people need to hear what the policy are going to be on in terms of advancing policing and community engagement in this country. so that what we see here tonight is a lesson in those, however,
6:33 pm
who are out here violating the laws, we're going to get behind our police officers and we're going to support them and people who are doing damage to property and who are hurting others is not acceptable and all of us must support our police in a time of crisis such as this. >> ed lavendera is there. ed, first of all, are you doing okay? and if -- assuming you are, just tell us what you're seeing around you. >> reporter: we're fine, anderson. just at the point kind of joking about it. i told our producer that that hit -- doesn't have much of a future in the nfl with a hit like that. but we're good. we're good. a joke is kind of the easiest way to handle it at this point. we're just standing off to the side. this street, if you look off to the left, when we first start e talking to you 30, 45 minutes ago, down the street is back toward the police department and we saw a group of protesters busting through that souvenir shop and busting out the windows and just causing mayhem inside that store and throwing out
6:34 pm
everything on the street. then they moved back up this way where they're still confronting the s.w.a.t. teams here have moved a little bit on the screen from your right to your left and that's where we have seen the confrontations take place here in this intersection. the intensity is still there. i think a lot of people, as boris mentioned, the peaceful protesters at this point are long gone, and at this point, we have a group of very serious agitators and here we go, looks like -- start seeing a group of people moving, it gives you the impression that officers are moving in to remove somebody and that's when they usually start dispatching the tear gas into the crowd as well. where we're standing, the wind is blowing back where -- we have the wind at our backs so tear gas will move away from us. that's why we're standing over here at this point, but things are kind of calm right now. you can clearly tell that police are still trying to figure out how they need to get this crowd dispersed from here for good for the night. >> and, ed, it looks like we're seeing one man in a tie there
6:35 pm
sort of trying to talk to some of the younger men who are out there. actually, boris, i think you're closest to that. what's going on there? >> reporter: so, anderson, right now, people are starting to get closer and closer to the line of police. some people are trying to make peace. there's a gentleman in front of me that keeps trying to get people to back up. we've seen people go straight at the police and get pulled into that barrier behind them. you know, as i watch this, anderson, i cannot imagine this is what the wife of keith lamont scott wanted. she put out a statement today, saying that she was proud of people protesting but that she did not want this. she did not want violence in the streets. so far, we've seen several people get beat up. we've seen several people get clobbered with tear gas. we've seen several people making very, very, you know, dangerous comments to police saying that they're not afraid of them. saying that, you know, i heard
6:36 pm
one man say "we have guns, too, you guys should be afraid of us." obviously, as i said before, anderson, the people that are here do not appear to be interested in peace. right now, the police are starting to shift. we see them moving forward and somebody just got grabbed in front of us. and as we mentioned earlier, anderson, police have started that process of pulling in people they deem as agitators. right now, it looks like they're trying to block out this intersection. at one point it looked like they were going to start moves forward. they pulled back. we heard reinforcements coming in. i have not seen them so far. we're going to keep monitoring this, anderson and send it back to you right now. >> ed, let's check in with ed lavendera, from your vantage point, ed, there are people clearly trying to keep some of these more vocal protesters away from the police. it seems to be with kind of mixed results to say the least. >> reporter: and anderson, not only that but you also have i can see clearly on the other side of the s.w.a.t. officers
6:37 pm
from where we, i don't know how much you can see -- >> i see. >> reporter: dozens more s.w.a.t. officers arriving for reinforcements for the group of s.w.a.t. officers on the scene. we've just seen them start walking up. wooe t we're trying to get you the best vantage point of this as we can. they're now moving in. i saw the vehicles pull in one block away and quickly started making their way down the street to reinforce the line of s.w.a.t. officers already in place here along these streets. and we saw their vehicles move in just a short while ago. and within seconds, they were moving very quickly down the street to position themselves behind the line of s.w.a.t. officers we have out here right now, so a huge group of reinforcements coming in for these s.w.a.t. officers on the front line. and we'll see how this begins to play out here as the chanting continues. >> and ed, i mean, oftentimes in a situation like this, because we're only seeing what our cameras are pointed at, it can often seem larger than in.
6:38 pm
can you give us a bird's-eye, or a big-picture view here about how many, i don't know, protesters, is the right word, agitators, whatever you want to say, are there still left there? i mean, it looks like dozens to me, but from your vantage point, what does it look like, the size of this crowd? >> reporter: well, so imagine the officers are in the middle of this intersection and everything fans in out in three different directions. from where we are, there's a small group on this side. the main street -- oh, here we go. hold on. hold on. i don't know what's going on, anderson, but we got to move. >> clearly we just saw, again, that tactic, they're trying to grab somebody, bring them through the lines. and that gentleman there in the white is trying to keep them apart.
6:39 pm
>> reporter: anderson? >> yes, go ahead. go ahead. >> reporter: that guy in the white shirt is actually a public defender. i just talked to him. he said he's not here with anybody. he's here to help people in the crowd. he actually almost got pulled in by police as you saw but it appears he reasoned with the police officer. there's more tear gas being thrown. something is being yelled over the loud speaker but right now we cannot make out what is being said. they're telling people to control themselves and to leave. to disperse. they will use physical force against them. they're about to disperse more tear gas. they're about to disperse more tear gas. so people should leave immediately. it's actually been said in spanish, believe it or not. >> boris, i've gotten word, there's been one fatality, a civilian. we're told it did not believe a police officer at all, that it was a civilian-on-civilian
6:40 pm
altercation of some sort. again, we're trying to confirm that and get more details on that. we're obviously going to bring that to our viewers as soon as we can. boris was talking about that gentleman in the white in the tie, says he's a public defender who's just trying to help out as much as he can. he has been very active in trying to kind of move back some of the more vocal protesters. but as much as they move apart, then it seems like people edge back toward the police then the police reach in, try to grab some people that they believe are being particularly vocal or particularly causing trouble and arrest them. sometimes that does seem to -- >> reporter: anderson? >> yeah, go ahead. >> reporter: i just wanted to mention, it appears that people here just got the news that you were talking about, that someone was killed. it's obviously on social media right now. and i just heard a woman screaming and shouting, crying, very angry, reading the news
6:41 pm
saying he was doing nothing. it doesn't appear that that news that it was a civilian-on-civilian incident has gotten to her yet. she's under the impression that it was police-on-civilian. he's very angry. so you can imagine this skrocros only going to continue to get angrier as the misinformation or rumors start to spread about what happened and we, again, don't have all the details yet. obviously people on the ground are reacting to the news that someone was badly, badly hurt, an incident at this protest, anderson. >> i'm told that information, by the way, came from the chief of police, again, we are trying to just confirm all of this. obviously, you know, that word is spreading in the crowd through social media. the question, of course, what kind of an impact, if any, is that going to have on the crowd? do they have all the information? the vantage point we're seeing now, i'm not actually sure where it is in relation to the falinx
6:42 pm
of police officers we have been seeing. we did see at least one business being broken into. people running off with items from that business. ed lavendera is still with us. you know, ed, in the store that we spa being robbed before, is that still, to your knowledge, is that still a target for people? >> reporter: that was around the corner from what you see here so i vice presidehaven't been able way back down to that area. i suspect that has settled down at this point. ransacked the place. they busted out all the window, taking out the merchandise inside, basically throwing it outside into the streets. across the street from that is a hotel and lot of the landscaping along that area had been ripped out thrown into the streets. that's around the corner to my left. at this point, it's too dangerous to make our way back to where we were so we're staying off to the side here. you hear s.w.a.t. teams
6:43 pm
basically telling everybody that they need to leave this area, they no longer have the right to be standing out here regardless of what you're out here for. they're now bringing in the loud speaker systems and telling people that they need to leave, that they're essentially breaking the law at this point. of course, places like ferguson, we saw similar tactics. you know, it doesn't necessarily work all that quickly. takes some time. and we'll see how that plays out. it doesn't seem like, you know, once again, as you've been mentioning, these s.w.a.t. teams move up and then the crowd retreats for a little bit. now that they start coming back after things settle down. so we'll -- with those reinforcements that we were talking about before we had to run off, there was a crowd of people that started taking off. it sounds like the s.w.a.t. teams' patience for how much longer this is going to last is, you know -- big question about how much longer before they really start pulling and arresting more people here on the scene. so they're starting to send that message out now.
6:44 pm
and we'll see from the people who are still left here how much longer they're going to last here in this confrontation with the s.w.a.t. teams. >> art roderick, cnn law enforcement analyst and former assistant director to the u.s. marshals service is also joining us as is tom fuentes formerly with the fbi, senior law enforcement analyst and former fbi assistant director. tom, in terms of what you have seen so far, how this is being hand l handled, what do you make of it? sk >> anderson, i don't have access to the television. now that there's been a report of a fatality, the police have to ask themselves how much longer to leave this level of tension on the street before they just say it's time to clear the street and get the people who are causing the violence to leave. to disperse. i think that the longer people are out there, it sounds like the -- a tug-of-war. they're pushing back then the people come back toward the police. police push them back out of the way, they come back. the longer this goes, the more
6:45 pm
chance there is for more people to possibly get killed out there and the possibility of police officers, themselvese, being attacked so i think at a certain point, the police are going to have to say, we tried to be kinder and gentler all evening long, we're not succeeding. now we have a fatality on our hands. it might just be time to put an end to this situation. >> cedric alexander is also with us, former president of the national organization of black law enforcement executives. 21st century task force. david clinger as well, former nypd officer, criminal nolgolog. david, we haven't heard from you in some time. in terms of the progress we've been seeing the last hour or so we've been monitoring developments in realtime, it seems like police certainly have brought in reinforcements. they seem in a much better position to try to put an end to this tonight. >> could be. it's difficult to say. you know, i'm not watching the video feed and even that video feet feed is going to be limited in terms of what it's showing.
6:46 pm
we don't know what's going on in other places where the video feed is not. we don't know about the command and control, don't know where the command post is, don't know who's in charge, don't know if additional reens fomts are coming. clearly things have spun out of control and one of the things we learned in los angeles from the rodney king riots going way back is if you seed ground to rioters, it will spread. i'm with tom -- excuse me, that in charlotte the tortnorths nee get control of this sooner rather than later because as things continue to spin out of control, more and more people with social media, so on and so forth, can be called to bear for the folks that want to create the problems. it needs to be shut down. >> art roderick, law enforcement analyst, former assistant director of the u.s. marshals service. art, i mean, again, a very difficult situation for police when you have, you know, you have dozens of people who refuse to leave. who are there, some totally
6:47 pm
legitimately to continue a protest. others to rob -- targets of opportunity. others to engage with police. >> yeah, anderson, i've been watching this for quite a while, and this is a typical civil disturbance type tactics. you see the front line of law enforcement officers there. they generally will hold that line in tact and then when they identify specific individuals within the crowd, an arrest team will come out and will fill in behind them and let them back into the line and that individual that they targeted that they put hands on will be cuffed and arrested and then processed and taken away. it looks like from what i can see here that quite a few other law enforcement officers geared up in civil disturbance riot gear have just recently showed up. and it looks like, i think, they got pretty good numbers there at this point in time.
6:48 pm
of course, we are kind of, you know, just looking through the camera lens here as to what's going on. but i think also earlier this morning, i saw the chief of police and the mayor holding the press conference with community leaders also. and the mayor specifically talked about individuals coming from outside of charlotte. and, you know, this probably started as a relatively peaceful protest and it'd be interesting to see how many individuals that they've arrested that aren't from the charlotte mecklenburg area. >> i don't know if we still have ed lavendera or boris sanchez available, but if we do, boris, i mean, if people wanted to leave, i mean, sometimes in a situation like this, people get boxed in by police, but if people wanted to leave, could they leave this area? >> reporter: oh, without question, anderson. we're looking at three empty intersections behind the police. people -- a lot of people have left already. i would say that there's a couple hundred that are still
6:49 pm
here. some people are now kneeling in front of the police and praying, but from what i can tell, there's nothing holding these people back from leaving even though we've heard several times over the loud speaker police asking the crowd to disperse. that pub lilic defender we mentioned earlier trying to keep the space between protesters and police is also asking people to leave but obviously they are not moving. a lot of people are starting to yell, really agitating things toward the police. again, it does not look like this crowd is actually moving, anderson. >> and in terms of just numbers, you said, perhaps, i think you said as many as 100 or so or more. do wyou have a sense of how man people there are still there and approximately sort of police presence as well? >> reporter: it's hard to really get a scope because, again, there are around three intersections so i can see two of them right now. i can't really see to the other side where the police are. i would say there's at least 100
6:50 pm
or more people still here, potentially 150. it looks like more people are starting to come back. again, they dispersed when the tear . >> reporter: from what i can tell, police have not taken any more people behind the crowd, but we did see reinforcements come in, now from what i can tell, police are starting to arrange in a line behind the circle. i can't tell exactly what they're doing, but it's obvious that they're getting ready to do something, anderson. >> art, in a situation like this, at a certain point, once police feel they have enough personnel, what is the next step? i mean, is it just -- you know we talked about kind of grabbing individuals, arresting them, but is that -- do you just continue to do that as you whittle down the crowd size? >> they could continue to do that, but i think at some point what they'll start doing is moving -- moving in formation, probably down the street to a
6:51 pm
predesignated area where people can disburse. that's generally what happens in these types of disturbance situations. it looks like a pretty good amount of police officers there at this point where they at some point will get a command to start moving and move the crowd down the street to a park or to an area that they can disburse properly and -- and i'm sure they have this probably all planned out already. i mean, they've had a couple days to get ready for this, especially after last night. >> being looks like police there arresting somebody. >> yes. >> it looks like they have hands-on water battle being -- >> reporter: anderson? >> go ahead. >> reporter: anderson, whoa, here we go. they just started shooting pellets. it looks like they came to grab an agtater. there was teargas being dronthr water bottles being thrown.
6:52 pm
they fired at someone but it didn't look to be a bullet. it seemed like smoke. >> it all seem it's. >> reporter: we're trying to get closer to the direction of police, but again there are some people sitting on the ground not moving or some people running away. there's all kinds of debris in the streets. >> there you see -- >> reporter: i'll send it back to you, anderson. >> seems like one wing of the police formation is sort of moving up -- moving up, trying to i guess extend the line, of police they have. earlier on, that front row of police, not everybody had shields in that front row, some of them did have clubs, but not everybody now. it seems like that entire front row of police officers does have riot shields as well as the helmets with ballistic face masks, as well, obviously they also have masks for teargas, and we've been seeing now for more than an hour, teargas -- not huge amounts but teargas being
6:53 pm
disbursed from time to time, the crowd moving away from it, in some cases, kicking it back or throwing it back toward police lines. we'll just show you kind of how this -- when this began to transition, as far as we can tell, from what would seem to be according to boris sanchez, who was part of it early on, a peaceful protest of people moving through the is that rights -- the streets, and let's show you about an hour ago outside the omni hotel on c, in n. . >> reporter: authoritwe were ba following the crowd all the way down to this part of downtown. at one point, people got realliareally agitated. people were trying to damage these vans. so far they've put out -- oh, wow. they've put out pepper spray.
6:54 pm
people are running from it. jerry, get out of there! the situation is totally out of control. where the police line is right now, you can tell from the debris in front of me, things very quickly got out of control and they are still doing what they can to disburse this crowd, but it's very difficult. it's very difficult. they clearly want us out of here. >> that was boris sanchez about an hour ago. boris, it looks like now the line is moving a little bit? >> reporter: yeah, officers are starting to really clear the intersection. they have moved us back and protestors are confronting them. they're going right back at them, anderson, right now and things are getting launched at the police. just a few moments ago there was a glass bottles to tossed at a police officer and that may have d disbursed them and there's teargas in the streets and people throwing things at officers from what i can tell. it looks like -- and glasses again being thrown.
6:55 pm
okay. yeah, there's a lot of things being thrown at the police right now. it looks like the police are continuing to move forward very slowly. some people are still standing in front of them -- and there's the teargas, anderson. people are starting to run off. i think you can see as we start walking back some of the debris that's in the street. there's more teargas coming in all directions [ teargas shots ] >> reporter: people are trying to get out of the way. >> and that -- >> reporter: people are working to get out of the way. nobody's being stopped from getting out of here. in other words people are here because they want to be here. there's a lot of teargas. we'll send it back to you so we can try to find some shelter for a moment. >> and again you saw that man who boris said is a public defender trying to get protesters to continue to move. there he is again amidst the teargas as police are moving on from -- moving out jward from tt
6:56 pm
intersection, we've been watching for about 45 minutes or so. a large amount of teargas on the ground and as you can see, the city now is saying that a policeman has been injured. we don't know the extent of his injuries, earlier the chief of police said that one person was dead, had been shot to death. not by police, though, by somebody else, i assume ami januaamidst the police. we're trying to get more details on that and city officials saying a police officer has been injured in the protests. we just saw earlier looked like a glass bottle of some sort being thrown, hitting a traffic light, bursting a shattering glass, all over, that's obviously something of concern of the there's woman trying to pour water on her face. that man on the right in the ties, the public defender who had been trying to keep people
6:57 pm
separate and it seems that the -- the area directly in front of the police has largely cleared out because of the -- of the teargas. this now another vantage point. is this boris's camera or ed's? okay this is ed lavendare's. this is a different vantage point than we were seeing of the police moving forward. ed, if you can, explain have the police also moved forward? >> reporter: i'm looking for the camera. we've got separated. >> reporter: the police department, that's the area where i was telling you a little while ago, anderson, where we saw the looting of that souvenir shot. this line of officers here kind of flanked out to keep people from moving into this trade street area and moving back towards the police department, and that's where the brunt of the most intense protestors are and that's where you see just the most recent firing off of
6:58 pm
the teargas there in that area, so i can see it kind of goes down to about a quarter of a mile or so and they are -- there are a large crowd of people as they keep pushing them back. but i'm not sure how much further back these officers are going to move their way down the street. they're going to try to protect this intersection and make sure nobody moves in behind the other line of officers right now, anderson. >> and ed, this has been going on for, what, i mean, by my count, it's been almost -- started since the first teargas started to get thrown, what an hour and ten, hour and 15 minutes or so, so this has been going on for quite sometime. >> it has, anderson because it's funny you mention that. i've completely lost track of time. this stuff just seems to drag on and on forever, which is kind of a combination of a little bit nerve racking and trying to pay attention to what else is going on around us.
6:59 pm
but there was a -- before the swat team started moving this way down towards trade street toward the police department, there had been an increase in the number -- i could hear bottles of glass crashing on the cement in the box behind the line of police officers. up there you can see i think there had been some things thrown and some of the neon lights, the billboard lights up there, those were getting smashed out, as well as several other stores being smashed and -- and ransacked pretty well. it's hard to tell from the vantage point, this line of officers has stood still and they're asking us to -- i think get out of the area, right? i think we might need to get moves ing what we're being told. >> okay. whatever you have to do. we'll continue to check back with you, ed, checking his situation. there you see the overhead vantage point. one of those lines of police
7:00 pm
officers with the area in front of them, largely clear, that last firing of teargas did seem to clear out a large number of the protestors. it's not clear how far they've actually gone, whether they continue to be in the area, and as we've seen so many times as the teargas disburses they'll come back. our coverage is going to continue. want to toss it over to my colleague, don lemon, don. anderson, thank you very much. and here we are. our breaking news tonight, we have been watching live, as these protests have turned i have lec-- violent in charlotte. you're looking at these live pictures. this is cnn tonight, i'm don lemon. protestors clashing with police after the shooting death of keith lemont scott, in charlotte, north carolina this evening. police have been throwing teargas into the crowd trying to get them --